NEW YORK – On August 10th, Hakki Akdeniz, the Turkish pizza acrobat and owner of the famous Champion Pizza chain in New York, was honored with two proclamations from The New York State Assembly.
Akdeniz was also awarded the 2019 Person of the Year Award by the Lower East Side Hispanic Committee. He is the first Turkish Businessman to receive this award.
The proclamations were handed to Akdeniz by the Assistant Speaker of the Assembly, Felix W. Ortiz who recognized Akdeniz as “a philanthropist and outstanding member of New York City Community.” Ortiz thanked Akdeniz for his outstanding dedication to lending a helping help to anyone who needs it, as well as his positive effect on New York City as a whole.
The proclamation mentions three important segments of Akdeniz’s continuing charity work. First, his support of the Bowery Mission, where he spent over three months when he first came to the U.S.; secondly he gave away food to hungry locals after Hurricane Sandy; lastly his support to Puerto Rico after Hurricane Maria.
Akdeniz partnered with American rapper Jay-Z and sent trucks to Puerto Rico loaded with relief supplies. Between August 18th and 25th, Akdeniz plans to raise awareness giving away 5000 backpacks to New York City elementary school students.